BBB Accredited Business since

First Fuel & Heating Inc.

Phone: (518) 828-8700 Fax: (518) 828-5537 1840 Rt 9H, Hudson, NY 12534 View Additional Email Addresses http://www.firstfuelandpropane.com View Additional Web Addresses


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Description

This business offers residential/commercial heating fuel and propane.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that First Fuel & Heating Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for First Fuel & Heating Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 4 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

4 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 3
Total Closed Complaints 4

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on First Fuel & Heating Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 02, 2001 Business started: 01/01/1990 in NY Business started locally: 01/01/1990 Business incorporated 07/21/1993 in NY
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Ms. Erica McCagg, Bookkeeper
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Richard Coon, President
Business Category

OILS - FUEL GAS - PROPANE

Alternate Business Names
First Fuel & Propane First Fuel and Heating First Fuel and Propane

Additional Locations

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

4/15/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: First of all, I would like to say that I am not a customer of First Fuel and propane. I have not ever had a contract with Mr. **** and after this incident, never will. The previous owner of my home (that I purchased in June of 2013) used First Fuel as his oil provider, or so I assume by the attitude and poor excuse given by the "President" and his associates. The company's computer system supposedly made a mistake and delivered fuel to my home in January of this year. My husband and I had no idea, nor would we have reason to because we do our business elsewhere and are quite happy with the service provided. At the point when the collection process began, the company did not know us by name, they were simply looking for the occupant of my address. I was told that I had to pay for 103 gallons of fuel that was delivered to my address. My husband also received a phone call on his cell phone and he was told that he needed to discuss a "billing matter". We were still unclear of the incident. We requested a phone call from the owner of the company. When we did receive a phone call, the conversation was that of a very accusatory tone and it ended up being a screaming match and a threat to be taken to court to pay for property that did not belong to us. We were threatened and given reference to a law that he recited and claimed to know his rights. I explained that I did nothing wrong and do not feel that the situation was being handled professionally. I am a business professional and have been for nearly 20 years and have never been disrespected and spoken to in such a derogatory tone. About two weeks passed before we heard from Mr. ****, he called screaming at my husband and told him he demanded a check in his office by the end of the week or he was taking us to court. I could hear him yelling on the other end of the phone from across the room. My husband dropped a check off at his office the next day reluctantly but willing to comply in order to avoid further harassment from this person who calls himself a business man. We received a discounted rate, and the amount we paid was less than that of what it would have been. However, I do not feel that it was our responsibility to comply upon his word to a mistake that his company made. I feel that the process was poorly handled and would never dream of treating any of my clients the way my husband I were treated. We did not avoid paying a bill, we had no bill. We were not trying to get something for nothing. This was a mistake that the business made, and he was going to take us to court. There is no logic behind this and I can't figure out why a business professional would mistreat a potential new customer poorly and why he would rather we speak ill of his company and its services rather than apologize for an inconvenience that he caused us. In the end, he told us that he was stressed out about the situation and wanted it resolved, the situation was in his hands all along and if it were handled differently, we would have compromised sooner. I will never recommend his service and not ever even consider switching to this company. There are very poor customer relations practiced in that firm, insulting a client's intelligence and offending people (especially ones who have done nothing wrong) is not the way to attract business.

Desired Settlement: I still do not believe that we are responsible for the debt forced on us. I feel that we were treated unfairly and unprofessionally. I would accept simply admitting that what was done is wrong.

Business Response: In regards to the above reference complaint, I would respectfully disagree with ******* *****'s experience. ******* and *********** ***** got a mistaken delivery at the ** ********* Drive address from us. I explained the delivery was made in error and apologized to her multiple times. My staff spoke with ******* and she express that this was not her fault and she felt like she should not have to pay for something that was delivered in error. Since this was our mistake my staff notified me, I called and spoke to ******* to handle, again apologizing to her multiple times thru out our phone conversation. I explained to her that I would have liked to recover the cost of the fuel at the time of the delivery, and it would be at a lower cost than her current fuel oil company. She insisted that this was my mistake and that she should not have to pay for anything. I explained again that this was our mistake and apologized to her again, but that I was not willing to give ******* and her husband *********** the fuel oil for free. At that time ******* wanted to discuss this with her husband and get back to me. After a month had passed I heard nothing, so I gave another call to *********** this time. I apologized again, and this time we came up with agreement for them to pay $ 300.00 for the fuel that was delivered to them. Analogy of the story that I tried to explain to *********** was that when a ***** delivery man drops off your new refrigerator in your next door neighbors driveway, your neighbor does not get to keep your refrigerator for free. I had simply offered to take the fuel back by pumping it out of the tank, or offering them a deep discount on the fuel oil that was delivered in error. The *****'s chose the discount and paid me the $ 300.00 and I wiped the rest of the balance on the account clean for them. Again I would like to take this time to apologize to both ******* and *********** ***** for the mistake that we made in error. Thank you, ******* **** 1st Fuel & Propane President

1/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: RECEIVED DELIVERY OF FUEL APPROX 3 WKS AGO. SHOPPED FOR BETTER PRICING. RECEIVED PRICE $1.55 LESS PER GALLON FOR PROPANE. CALLED OFFICE, SAID THEY WOULD GET BACK TO ME THAT DAY, THEY CALLED ME AT 4:55 THE NEXT DAY AND LEFT MESSAGE THAT I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CALL BACK BUT WOULD CONTACT ME NEXT DAY. APPROX 10 DAYS LATER I CONTACTED THEM AGAIN. THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD NOT MATCH PRICE AND WOULD NOT GIVE ME ANY CREDIT FOR FUEL REMAINING IN TANKS APPROX $600 WORTH. I HAVE REREAD ORIGINAL CONTRACT AND I FIND NO STATEMENT IN CONTRACT OF NO CREDIT FOR FUEL RETURNED.

Desired Settlement: PICK UP FUEL TANKS AND CREDIT FUEL IN TANKS APPROX 160 GALLONS @ $3.749 PER GALLON. IF THEY CHOOSE TO CHARGE A 10% RESTOCK FEE I AM OK WITH THAT. THE TANKS ARE OVER 3/4 FULL- 2 - 120 GALLON TANKS & REGULATOR

Business Response: On December 4, 2013 my company did in fact remove our tanks from Mr. *******'s property. At that time our tanks were still connected. The tanks weren't hooked back up as he stated he would do. It is a firm company policy that we do not refund for propane left in the tank. However I also pride myself on our customer service here at First Fuel and we strive to keep our customers happy at all times. With that being said I credited Mr. ******* back the remaining propane in the tanks at the price of $3.749 which was the amount he was charged the day of the delivery. I did charge a modest restocking fee of $1.00 per gallon and refunded him the difference minus the tank removal fee which he agreed to pay when he signed the Propane Equipment Lease and Gas Supply Agreement. Now if Mr. ******* was being forthright about getting prices at $2.20 per gallon then I feel that I have actually saved him 0.549/g which equals $88.94. If Mr. ******* would like I can set the tanks back at his property for him to use the 162 gallons and he can return the refund check to me. He would then just need to pay me for the propane at $3.749. Mathematically speaking it doesn't make sense to me but if he doesn't see the savings then to keep him happy I would be glad to set the tanks back for him. By doing what I've done it saves him money. It seems to me that no matter what Mr. ******* isn't going to be happy. So at this point I am just not sure how he would like me to proceed. Thank you for your time in this matter.
Sincerely, ******* **** President

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I CALLED 1ST FUEL ON NOV 29, 2013 AND INFORMED ****** THAT I WAS WORKING ON REMOVING THE FUEL FROM THE TANKS AND WOULD CALL THEM WHEN I WAS FINISHED, TO WHICH SHE AGREED. MR **** STATES THE TANKS WERE CONNECTED ( WHICH THEY WERE NOT AND WHICH I HAVE PHOTOS OF ATTACHED ) THE CONTRACT I ORIGINALLY SIGNED WITH 1ST FUEL STATED NOTHING ABOUT NO REFUNDS FOR UNUSED OR RETURNED FUEL. I WORK IN A BUSINESS SUPPLYING GOODS & SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC. WE CHARGE A 20% RESTOCK FEE FOR SPECIAL ORDER AND NON-RETURNABLE ITEMS. WE DO NOT CHARGE A RESTOCK FEE ON RESALABLE STOCK ITEMS.I SPOKE WITH SEVERAL FUEL COMPANIES AND THEY SAID THEY WOULD CHARGE A 10% RESTOCK FEE FOR RETURNED FUEL AND A TANK REMOVAL FEE FOR CUSTOMERS LESS THAN 5 YRS WITH AN ACCOUNT,  WHICH I THOUGHT WAS FAIR AND WHICH I EVEN SUGGESTED A 10% RESTOCK FEE IN MY 1ST COMPLAINT LETTER TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. MR **** CLAIMS HE CHARGED A MODEST RESTOCK FEE WHICH AMOUNTS TO APPROX. 27% FOR A STOCK ITEM WHICH HE WILL RESELL FOR $3.749/GAL AND ACTUALLY BE GETTING FROM SOMEONE $4.749/GAL FOR THE FUEL I RETURNED. MR **** WAS ORIGINALLY ONLY WILLING TO DROP HIS FUEL PRICE TO $3.349/GAL WHICH WAS BARELY 30% CLOSER TO THE PRICE I AM CURRENTLY PAYING.I RECEIVED 137.8 GAL OF FUEL TODAY . MY BILL IS $303.02. IF I HAD PURCHASED FUEL FROM MR **** I WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY $516.61 , AS YOU CAN SEE WHEN YOU ARE CHARGED AN EXTRA $200 PER MONTH FOR THE SAME PRODUCT FROM MR **** THERE IS NO WAY I CAN SPEND THAT ADD'L MONEY EACH MONTH. OVER THE COURSE OF A HEATING SEASON IT EQUATES TO APPROX. $1300. BASED ON WHAT I FIGURE A 10% RESTOCK FEE WOULD EQUAL A CREDIT OF $546.6042 FOR 162 GALLONS MINUS THE $6.95 ENVIROMENTAL FEE & THE TANK REMOVAL FEE OF $135.00 THE CREDIT TOTAL THAT WOULD BE FAIR IS $405.65 MINUS THE CHECK MR **** HAS MAILED ME ALREADY FOR $214.50 I FEEL I AM STILL ENTITLED TO AN ADD'L $191.15. IF MR **** SENDS ME THE ADD'L $191.15 I WILL DROP THIS COMPLAINT AND CONSIDER IT RESOLVED. 

Regards,

******* *******




Business Response: To whom it may concern, I am in receipt of your letter dated December 31, 2013. I am resubmitting a copy of our Propane Equipment Lease and Gas Supply Agreement highlighting where it states no refunds are given on unused propane. It is also printed on all propane delivery receipts that "All Sales are Final". Even when presented with this information Mr. ******* continues to lie about the facts. In the second response to Mr.*******'s complaint I offered to have the tanks set back at his home if he so pleased. As a rule I don't refund back for unused propane, but in Mr. *******'s case I made an exception. I will not be refunding Mr.******* any more money. Thank you for your time, with this letter I consider this matter to be closed. This will be the last response I will be making to Mr. *******'s complaint.
Sincerely, ******* **** President

5/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 2/25 I had another propane supplier install their equipment and move First Fuel's propane tank to the side. I did business with First Fuel for about three years. When First Fuel started supplying us we were using propane for cooking and hot water. About a year ago our hot water heater failed and we replaced it with a electric model. The outcome of all of this is even though I have 35 gallons of propane I paid for at the time of the last delivery in the tank that I was using for cooking, First Fuel put me on their "cooking gas" program and sent me a bill last January for $72. I received no gas or services for this bill nor did I agree to start any program. On 2/25 I called First Fuel to inform them they could pick up their tank and to ask them about the remaining gas in the tank and the $72 bill. I was informed they do not refund for gas remaining in the tank. I was not notified about this policy prior to this time. This amounts to about $125. I was also told that they would not cancel the bill even though I received no services of any kind and did not agree or sign for any such service.

Desired Settlement: In fairness, I would like the $125 for the remaining gas applied to the $72 bill and refund me the balance of $53.

Business Response: Mr. ******* has been a customer since 4/16/10. When we first installed the tank for him, he was using it for cooking and hot water. We set the tank at no charge, pressure tested the system for free and also filled the tank at 1.899 per gallon. We do all this for new customers with the assumption that they are going to use our services for at least 5 years. Mr. ******* did tell us that he was no longer using propane for hot water, and at that time, we talked about putting him on a quarterly charge vs. price per gallon. Since he was only using this 120 gallon tank for cooking, we set him up like every other cooking account with the quarterly charge. To have a tank sitting at someone's home that does not generate revenue of some type would put us out of business. This quarterly change covers the use of the tank, insurance we have to pay for liability on the tank, staff available for any deliveries needed to the tank, and of course, the propane as needed. All these services are included in the $72.00 quarterly charge he agreed to. So, Mr. ******* was indeed receiving "services" for the fee he was charged.


If you also refer to section 1 of the attached contract Mr. ******* signed, it does indeed state that the customer acknowledged all sales are final and that we do NOT refund for propane left in the tank. As a courtesy to Mr. *******, we are not holding him to the 5 year agreement which he signed, which would cost him an additional 2 years of $72.00 quarterly charges and an $85.00 tank set and gas check fee. We will however, be charging him $125.00 to remove the tank as shown in section 7 of same contract.

So, in closing, in fairness, we expect Mr. ******* to pay his balance due of $106.50 and the $125.00 removal fee once tank is picked up. He has been using the tank and has been covered by all of our services involved since his last delivery on 9/13/2011, which is 1 1/2 years. We have received no revenue or income since 9/13/11, so we feel this is more than fair.

Thank you.

******* ****

2/7/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: A couple of years back they came and removed one of my propane tanks due to what they said was lack of use. They refunded me the money for the propane that was in the tank. I have now gone with another fuel company and First fuel came and picked up there tank after I called them to do so. There was 40% left in the tank when they picked it up this time and now they are refusung to refund me the value of the propane they took back in there tank.

Desired Settlement: To have the 40% of propane value refunded to me at the price I paid for it, $3.79 per gallon.

Business Response:

In regards to this complaint made by ***** ********* on 1/2/2013, I am happy to tell you that it has been resolved.

******* ****, the owner of the company, had a conversation with ***** and ended up crediting his account $135.00.

***** was happy with this agreement,  as his account has been zeroed out and the tank has been removed from his property.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us. 

Sincerely,

 ****** *****

Customer Service